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Setting Off The New Year

* A.L. Major *

Early November last year Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old African American woman, was shot outside the home of a 54-year-old white man in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Several hours earlier, she had crashed her car into a parked vehicle. She couldn’t find her cellphone. She was drunk, high and possibly concussed. She was a young black woman looking for help in a society that routinely asserts black bodies are volatile, more likely to perpetuate violence than seek assistance. The Internet barely yawned at the news. The case was similar to Jonathan Ferrell’s yet its dissimilar treatment in the media seemed one more disappointing example of how America values the lives of African-American women in the year 2013.